Suncor has asked the provincial regulator to dismantle one of the anti-takeover measures adopted by COS directors so that COS shareholders can decide for themselves whether to accept a deal announced on Oct. 5.
COS says its board is actually attempting to defend its shareholders from a bidder with an unfair advantage because it has access to private information about the Syncrude oilsands operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta.
COS has a 37 per cent stake in Syncrude and Suncor has 12 per cent, so together they own just under half of the complex.
The securities commission’s role as Alberta’s provincial watchdog for publicly traded companies will be to sort through the conflicting claims and arguments, then make a decision — assuming the two sides don’t find a resolution or compromise on their own.
Suncor is offering to buy all of COS in exchange for shares worth about $4.3 billion when the offer was made on Oct. 5.
Suncor shares have risen 11 per cent to $39.33 as of Thursday from $35.37 on Oct. 2, before the bid. COS stock has risen 62 per cent over the same period, to $10 from $6.19.